in death there is no forgiveness

on the death of my father

he lies frozen, a week in the morgue

on top of ice, mouth, sealed with sugar,

toothless; he’d come for implants – the shock

of extraction a “factor in his stroke”.


we wash him, my cousins, uncles and I,

and shrouded bear him shouldered to the pyre;

Neem, Mango, ten trees chopped to fuel the fire

that beacons through the night. By dawn redacted,

hot ash sparking, some small bones still intact,

which my mother, forgiving, sifts to collect.


i cannot. He broke her; memories’ page

replays her daily bloodied, the helpless rage

of my early childhood. I, though saddened,

reject his death’s plea to be pardoned.

he was neither husband nor a father,

I could not love him and will not hereafter.

© Bhi 2023
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Sad. Very sad. But the honesty with which the story unfolds is strikingly commendable.
Bhi, I had to come back because I think the inability to forgive is a punishment you give yourself for somebody else’s mistake. But you may not agree to it as this is also another belief system, like that of yours.

Last edited 2 years ago by supratik

Everything we do and not do is governed by what we believe. Inability to forgive is the key here. In the practice of accepting our karma, we develop the ability to look at persons as souls playing out their roles; this again is a belief system. I don’t agree with you here at all, I wish you were explained by a more competent person. However, at the end of it all, it’s your life, it’s your world. Enjoy being in your own world without being judged, evaluated. I wish you health and happiness, unconditionally.


We have the unquestioned ability not to forgive. It’s being observed at the micro and macro levels. We don’t forgive. We might forget, but we don’t forgive. India and Pakistan will never forgive each other, neither will a Randy forgive a Dick. So? What’s the BIG deal?


Bhi, I also immensely respect you as a writer. I was only trying to comment on your posting, on what, in my opinion came out; I was not trying to ‘infer anything about [your] life or [your] beliefs.’ Extremely sorry if I had made you believe that, it was never my intention. Good wishes and good luck to you.

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